7 Step Problem Solving

Prof. Shoji Shiba is an international expert in Total Quality Management (TQM) and Breakthrough Management.[1] Globally he is best known for developing the “Five Step Discovery Process” for Breakthrough Management. In the recent years he has been guiding the transformation of the Indian manufacturing industry.

A Deming Prize winner[2] in an individual capacity for propagating TQM amongst corporates and governments, Prof. Shiba has authored books like ‘A New American TQM’ (co-authored by David Walden and Alan Graham), ‘Integrated Management Systems’ (co-authored by Thomas H Lee and Robert Chapman Wood), ‘Four Practical Revolutions in Management’ (with David Walden) in English and ‘Breakthrough Management’ (Japanese 2003; English 2006).


To handle a complex problem say for example a huge number of calls in a call center, you need the following 7 steps (defined by Dr. Shoti Shiba) to perfectly solve it:

  1. Definition: the first thing is to ask what is the problem really, without the answer of this question you cannot go any further; taking our example, you need to know what the problem really is? Is it the number of calls? Is it how long the call is taken? Or it is about something in the content of the call. Let’s decide it is the number of calls.
  2. Data Collection: next step is to answer the question “WHAT?” Get detailed data about the problem; if we are talking about the number of calls so let’s draw a graph about the number of calls over time.
  3. Cause Analysis: next step is to answer the question of “WHY?”; many techniques can help you find the cause of the problem such as Ishikawa or Baretto; or may be simple analysis, any of them will use the data collected above; in our example you found that the increase of calls synchronized with the shipment of new product, which the most of the new callas are about.
  4. Solution Planning & Implementation: “A lot of work in a simple line of writing”; after previous 3 steps you are ready correctly solve your problem by planning and implementing the solution; it worth the effort because you know you are doing the right thing; in our example you may chip to the customer a check list about the things/checks they need to go through before calling.
  5. Evaluation of Effects: Don’t stop now; you need this step as much as you need the previous 4; the question here is “DID IT WORKED?”; after shipping the check list you need to monitor and collect some data to check if the calls goes normal again.
  6. Standardization: once we found the right solution, let’s see how widely we can use it in the organization.
  7. Evaluation of The Process: after we widely spread the solution all over the organization we still not done; we need to know about the steps we have been through to solve the problem are they good to do every time we solve a problem, what are they pros and cons; so next time we do it more efficiently.

The Belarc Advisor

The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

  • Operating Systems: Runs on Windows 8.1, 2012 R2, 8, 2012, 7, 2008 R2, Vista, 2008, 2003, XP, 2000, NT 4, Me, 98, and 95. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows are supported.
  • Browsers: Runs on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and many others.
  • File size: 3368 KB.
  • License: The license associated with this product allows for free personal use only. Use on multiple PCs in a corporate, educational, military or government installation is prohibited. See the license agreement for details.
  • Wish to run the Belarc Advisor on your corporate network, see FAQs below.

Belarc’s commercial products are used for software license management, hardware upgrade planning, cyber security status, information assurance audits, IT asset management, configuration management, and more.

RedBoard vs. Uno

SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make your electronics projects possible. Whether it’s a robot that can cook your breakfast or a GPS cat tracking device, our products and resources are designed to make the world of electronics more accessible.

In addition to products, SparkFun also offers classes and online tutorials to help educate individuals in the wonderful world of embedded electronics.

What Is The RedBoard?

Arduino is one of the most popular physical computing platforms available today. It’s an amazing tool for both experienced and budding electronics enthusiasts. It’s part hardware, part software, and part community; all of which come together to create a well-supported, solidly-designed electronics platform.

The best part: the entire Arduino project – both hardware and software – is open-source. The schematics, hardware design files, and source code are all freely available for viewing and modification. Released under a Creative Commons Share Alike license, anyone is free to riff on the hardware design and produce their own version. That’s what we’ve done with the RedBoard. It still looks and acts just like an Arduino Uno, but is slightly modified to make the board better-suited to our purposes.

Description: If you’re new to electronics and programming, the RedBoard Starter Kit is a great way for beginners to get their foot in the door. This little guy is essentially a mini SparkFun Inventor’s Kit (minus the manual which you can find below) and can be taken straight out of the box to help you make a slew of basic circuits, including:

  • Blinking LEDs
  • Making (bad) music
  • Responding to buttons
  • Twisting a volume knob
  • Detecting ambient light
  • Reading temperature
  • Mixing LED colors
  • And more!

This version comes with our newest SparkFun RedBoard! Also included is a multitude of parts and sensors so you can start messing around with projects.

Here’s a few simple tutorials to get you started:

And here’s some more advanced tutorials, if you’re ready to take on more of the Arduino world!

Resources

For more information on the SparkFun Redboard, check out our product page. We’ve also got:

  • Schematics – A PDF of the schematic.
  • Eagle Files – The PCB design files. This design is completely open-source!
  • FTDI Drivers – Though they’re included with Arduino installs, this is where you’ll find the most up-to-date FTDI VCP drivers.
  • Product Video – A video introduction of the RedBoard.

Description: The Digital Sandbox (DS) is a learning platform that engages both the software and hardware worlds. It’s powered by a microcontroller that can interact with real-world inputs – like light or temperature sensors – while at the same time controlling LEDs, motors, and other outputs. The Digital Sandbox is equipped with everything, on board, that you will need to complete 13 experiments including controlling an LED, measuring how loud things are, detecting what the temperature is, and more. Think of this as a SparkFun Inventor’s Kit all in one board!

By interfacing the Sandbox to your computer via a USB cable, the Sandbox can be programmed using the popular Arduino programming environment. To further simplify the learning experience, we’ve designed the Sandbox and its guide around using a simple, “blocky”, programming add-on to Arduino called, Ardublock. Using ArduBlock – a simple, graphical version of the popular Arduino programming language – you will be able to program all of the experiments with a simple graphical interface instead of writing code.

The full-color Digital Sandbox Guide (included) contains step by step instructions of how to connect each circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided and explained and even includes troubleshooting tips if something goes wrong. The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 8 and up.

Arduino

Published on Dec 30, 2012

Ben teaches you everything you need to know to start using Arduino microcontrollers in your projects

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Raspberry Pi

Published on Jul 14, 2014

Get your first look at the new Raspberry Pi B+ and find more information on element14 http://ow.ly/z7GKy

The Raspberry Pi Ultimate Kit has everything the Pi enthusiast needs or wants. This kit even includes a drawstring bag and mouse mat. This kit has a fantastic Raspberry Pi USB hub and the translucent case that you can hang on the wall or sit on your desktop.

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Double-triangular Distribution

Double-triangular Distribution is the combination of two triangles, each with an area of 0.5. The mode is also the median.

The mean is:

The variance is:

Note: the variance is the same as for the triangular distribution.

The probability density is:

And the cumulative distribution function:

 

For Monte Carlo simulation random values from the DT can be generated using random numbers between 0 and 1 (here denoted as “p”) and the following formulas:

The double-triangular is quite unnatural. It is highly unlikely to be a proper representation of uncertainty. Moreover, estimating the median is, in my view, more difficult than the estimating the most likely value (mode).

three-point estimation

The three-point estimation technique is used in management and information systems applications for the construction of an approximate probability distribution representing the outcome of future events, based on very limited information. While the distribution used for the approximation might be a normal distribution, this is not always so and, for example a triangular distribution might be used, depending on the application.,[1]

In three-point estimation, three figures are produced initially for every distribution that is required, based on prior experience or best-guesses:

  • a = the best-case estimate
  • m = the most likely estimate
  • b = the worst-case estimate.

These are then combined to yield either a full probability distribution, for later combination with distributions obtained similarly for other variables, or summary descriptors of the distribution, such as the mean, standard deviation or percentage points of the distribution. The accuracy attributed to the results derived can be no better than the accuracy inherent in the 3 initial points, and there are clear dangers in using an assumed form for an underlying distribution that itself has little basis.

Based on the assumption (possibly unwarranted) that a double-triangular distribution governs the data, several estimates are possible. These values are used to calculate an E value for the estimate and a standard deviation (SD) as L-estimators, where:

E = (a + 4m + b) / 6
SD = (b − a) / 6

E is a weighted average which takes into account both the most optimistic and most pessimistic estimates provided. SD measures the variability or uncertainty in the estimate. In Project Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT) the three values are used to fit a Beta distribution for Monte Carlo simulations.

The triangular distribution is also commonly used. It differs from the double-triangular by its simple triangular shape and the mode does not have to coincide with the median. The mean (expectation) is then:

E = (a + m + b) / 3.

In some applications,[1] the triangular distribution is used directly as an estimated probability distribution, rather than for the derivation of estimated statistics.

The precedence diagram method

The precedence diagram method is a tool for scheduling activities in a project plan. It is a method of constructing a project schedule network diagram that uses boxes, referred to as nodes, to represent activities and connects them with arrows that show the dependencies.

  • Critical tasks, noncritical tasks, and slack time
  • Shows the relationship of the tasks to each other
  • Allows for what-if, worst-case, best-case and most likely scenario

Key elements include determining predecessors and defining attributes such as

  • early start date..
  • late start date
  • early finish date
  • late finish date
  • duration
  • WBS reference

pay it forward

The expression “pay it forward” is used to describe the concept of asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept is old, but the phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight.[1]

Pay it forward” is implemented in contract law of loans in the concept of third party beneficiaries. Specifically, the creditor offers the debtor the option of “paying” the debt forward by lending it to athird person instead of paying it back to the original creditor. Debt and payments can be monetary or by good deeds. A related type of transaction, which starts with a gift instead of a loan, isalternative giving.